Busted: Microsoft Harbors BitTorrent Pirates

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In recent weeks the anti-piracy antics of Microsoft have made the news on a few occasions. From censoring The Pirate Bay to funding BitTorrent poisoning startups, the software giant is determined to attack piracy head-on. But perhaps the company should make a start by educating its own employees first. In Microsoft's offices around the world many company employees are using BitTorrent to download and share pirated movies.

microsoft pirateYouHaveDownloaded is a treasure trove of incriminating data on alleged BitTorrent pirates all across the world.

The site, launched late last year, exposes what people behind an IP-address have downloaded using BitTorrent. This data was gathered from public BitTorrent trackers, and the founders released it to show how much information can be found on BitTorrent users who don’t hide their IP-address.

The site’s founders inform TorrentFreak that since this mission has now been accomplished, they have stopped adding new info to the site. However, existing data is still online and that allows us to “out” a group of corporate BitTorrent pirates once more.

In recent weeks Microsoft has taken a strong position against copyright infringers. They censored Pirate Bay links in Windows Live Messenger, funded a startup that aims to kill BitTorrent traffic, and a few days ago it was revealed that they are the most active sender of DMCA takedown notices to Google.

Clearly, Microsoft is anti piracy. But would they also prevent their employees from using Microsoft office connections to download pirated films through BitTorrent? Let’s find out.

The methodology is easy. Look up a range of IP-addresses assigned to Microsoft and enter those into the search form on YouHaveDownloaded one by one. While we expected that it might take a while to find one, we already had a handful of offenders after two dozen tries.

Below are a few of our findings, all downloads that are linked to Microsoft’s office in Sammamish, Washington (or Seattle). Interestingly, most of the hits we ran into are movies such as “The Debt”, “Bordertown” and lesser known “Blind”.

No listing of pirated files would be complete without an adult film. We had plenty to choose from, but Rocco’s Psycho Love was one of the better ones.

In Microsoft’s office in Arlington, Virginia, (or Charlotte) there are also quite a few hits, including some educational and inspirational books.

The above shows that despite Microsoft’s anti-piracy efforts, there are plenty of employees downloading files though BitTorrent, and not just legal files either.

Of course this is hardly a surprise. In companies with thousands of employees there will always be people who use BitTorrent for illicit purposes. And in tech companies it’s probably even more common.

Microsoft is in good company also.

Previously we were able to show that unauthorized downloads occur even in the most unexpected of places, from the palace of the French President, via the Church of God, to the RIAA and the US House of Representatives.


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